OL 241 Assignment Four Discussion
Online Learning. OL 241 Writing Your Local Climate Action Plan: https://training.csd-i.org/courses/writing-your-local-climate-action-plan/
Center for Sustainable Development: https://training.csd-i.org/

This week’s resources:
Assignment Four Homework
Magee Example Project
Assignment 4 Field Guide on Participatory Mapping of Soil and Water Resources

Assignment 4.

  • Asking for feedback on the Climate Action Plan from your community
  • Writing a ¾ page field guide on one simple activity from the plan
  • Assessing your organization’s expertise or managing the plans activities.

By now your project is beginning to take shape.

This pair of climate change courses, 241 and 242, are for writing a draft of a climate action plan for approval by your community and for initial donor discussions.

One section of the finished plan will detail the activities that the plan will promote as being solutions to the community’s climate challenges. When the plan is completed and approved, you and the community will launch the new program/project to implement the activities that it recommended.

This week, we will reengage with the community by proposing one simple activity that can be done now while the plan is still being written. Doing this now will:

  1. keep the community engaged in the process
  2. allow them to see up close the challenges and solutions
  3. continue building community ownership of the plan and the future project

Assignment Four has three parts.
Part One. You last saw your community a month ago after completing the participatory needs assessment. Although they had an idea of what kind of plan you might be developing, your plan has progressed tremendously since then. It would be a very good idea to return to the community, just for a short meeting, to let them see how the plan has evolved and to get their feedback before you invest more time in it.

Meeting with the community at this stage will let you see if you’ve accidentally misunderstood something about their needs concerns. But it also has a larger purpose, and that is that as you are seeking their comments, community members are beginning to feel a sense of increasing ownership of the project. They will perceive this not as an outsider presenting a canned plan to them, but as someone who’s working on their behalf following their suggestions.

This buy-in is absolutely paramount in the long-term sustainability of the outcomes of the plan. If they like what they see as the plan evolves, and truly feel that it was based upon their ideas, they are going to protect and take care of the outcomes long after you’re gone.

Part Two. The second part of your assignment for the week is to pick one extremely simple activity from your Assignment Two project outline and write a step-by-step guide about how to implement this activity.

In my example project I’m proposing two programs as being the basis for the climate action plan: A Groundwater Recharge Program, and a Street Tree Program to Reduce Urban Heat.

In my example project from Assignment Two you can see that this is described in:
[Activity 6]: Work with the hydraulic engineer to develop a project design with specific techniques and activities, a budget, a schedule and necessary funding documents.

The specific activities were also described in detail in both Assignment Two and again in Assignment Three. Different techniques for wetlands restoration and groundwater recharging, and ideas about developing a Street tree program.

So for my example for Assignment Four on going to propose the activity of the community mapping experience:
[Activity 3]. Community workshop on participatory mapping of water resources and uses (consciousness raising).

This is an activity that I can actually do with 12 or 14 community members while the community action plan is still being written. This mapping activity is a no cost activity so we don’t need to have an active budget yet. It is also is a lot of fun and gets community members thinking about their challenges and solutions in greater detail.

The Step-By-Step Guide:
My suggestion would be to talk your way through the description as if you are discussing it with someone — and then simply write down what you say. Don’t overlook the opportunity of using resources from the Internet that you may have discovered when you were searching for your scientific papers last week. You might have found an existing guide that you could simply modify and adapt it for your region. That would be fine for the assignment—you are required to write something from scratch.

The guide which we’re writing this week is quite important because it means that if your project is successful, your organization can scale it up in other communities by using your guide for replicating the project.

It also leads to the sustainability of the ongoing aspects of the project or program. After your organization completes the tasks which they are responsible for, and moves on to a new project, the community will have documentation on the project activities so that they can maintain them over time.

Part Three. Part three of this assignment is to make a list of aspects of your project activities where you and your nonprofit have no experience nor expertise. This course is all about "What solution work for a changing climate?" So we want to make sure that each activity has someone in charge who has the expertise to make it successful — and sustainable.

  • What expertise do you need to implement your project?
  • What expertise do you have?
  • What expertise do you need to acquire?
  • Where can you get it?


Okay click on homework for Assignment Four to get started.

Tim Magee